Pro-EU politician receives death threats just days after Jo Cox murder

Labour MP Yvette Cooper walks from Parliament to St Margaret's Church for a service of rememberance for Labour MP Jo Cox who was shot and stabbed to death last week outside her constituency surgery, in Westminster, London, June 20, 2016. © Toby Melville
Labour MP and prominent Remain campaigner Yvette Cooper has notified the police of death threats targeting her children and grandchildren on Twitter, just days after the brutal killing of Cooper’s close friend and fellow MP Jo Cox.

The former government minister posted an image of the chilling tweet on Tuesday, saying: “Got this today for speaking out for Remain..... This has to stop.” The account which had originally posted the Message was suspended by Tuesday evening.

On Monday, Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay was also sent an “emoji death threat” on Facebook. Kent police have confirmed that they are investigating the message, which included a emoji of a gun and knife.

“Following the shocking events of last Thursday, it is in the most appalling taste that I have received a death threat using social media, with ‘emoticons’ of a gun, knife and laughing face recommending a similar means by which I should be executed,” he said in a statement.

“Sadly, all MPs receive abusive communications, but in the wake of the murder of Jo Cox MP, I have passed on the details to Kent Police who have allocated a senior detective to investigate whether the Malicious Communications Act has been breached.”

A study published earlier this year found that four in five MPs have experienced intrusive or aggressive behavior, with 36 MPs saying the abuse had left them afraid to go out in public.

The fresh crop of threats comes as parliamentarians mull implementing new security measures for MPs, including hiring a full time social media investigator to trawl through online attacks on MPs.

Police were reportedly reviewing Jo Cox’s security detail after the mother of two had reported receiving a barrage of hate mail three months before her murder.

Though the hate mail was not linked to her alleged attacker, 41-year-old Tommy Mair, MPs have increasingly expressed fears over security at their surgeries since the 2010 stabbing of Labour MP Stephen Timms by a radicalized Islamist student.

Cox died last Thursday after being was shot and stabbed repeatedly in the street following a constituency surgery in Birstall, near Leeds.

Public tribute events are set to take place in London, New York, Paris and Cox’s constituency in West Yorkshire on Wednesday evening in honor of what would have been the MP’s 42nd birthday.

Hundreds of people are also expected to gather in Washington DC, Dublin, Brussels, Oslo, Buenos Aires and Beirut.